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俄烏戰爭現況:開欄文
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亓官先生
胡卜凱

烏克蘭的春季攻勢」蛻化為「夏季攻勢」後,明顯地陷入膠著;沒有什麼值得寫封家書來匯報的進展。以下轉載兩篇「戰況評估」。我存檔備查;看官們請自行參考。

第一篇號稱是分別從普丁和澤倫斯基兩位的角度(佔有)領土心理、以及軍事三個層面所做的分析。

第二篇是布林肯國務卿的評估。我相信政治作用含量應該超標,可信度自然必須打個折扣。何況,自鮑爾之後,「美國國務卿會說謊」是討論政治的人不得不常記於心的教訓。

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攻擊俄國境內效應 -- Samya Kullab
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當我第一次看到「烏克蘭可以攻擊俄國本土」的報導時(本欄2024/06/01),我天真的評論道:

一旦戰火大幅度延燒到俄國本土,甚至莫斯科近郊,他絕對沒有好果子吃(本欄2024/06/01)

由下文可知,所謂俄國本土」指的是離邊境20公里內的範圍烏軍火力其實可以達到俄國境內100公里的範圍執行這種綁手綁腳的戰略,主要原因當然是害怕普丁大大狗急跳牆,鋌而走險,動用某種形式的核武。另一個陰謀論的原因可能是:歐、美政府決策者認為,既然普丁莽漢自動踏進泥淖,何不讓他留在裏面打滾打個不停。


As U.S.-supplied weapons show impact inside Russia, Ukrainian soldiers hope for deeper strikes


, 06/22/24

KHARKIV REGION, Ukraine (AP) — Weeks after the decision allowing Ukraine to use U.S.-supplied weapons for limited strikes in Russian territory, the country is having some success in halting Russia’s new push along the northeast front, but military commanders are clamoring for restrictions on long-range missiles to be lifted.

Deteriorating battlefield conditions forced the U.S. to permit Ukraine to use Western-supplied artillery and rocket systems to defend the eastern city of Kharkiv by targeting border regions where the Kremlin’s forces assemble and launch attacks. The impact was swift: Ukrainian forces pushed Russian positions back, won time to better fortify their own positions and even mounted small offensive actions.

But commanders said that without the ability to use long-range guided missiles, such as ATACMS, their hands are tied.

“We could target (Russian) brigade command points and the entire northern grouping, because they are located 100 to 150 kilometers from the front line,” said Hefastus, an artillery commander in the Kharkiv region who goes by his callsign. “Normal ammunition can’t get at them. With this kind, we can do a lot to destroy their centers of command.”

The Ukrainian commanders interviewed spoke on condition that their callsigns be used, in line with brigade rules.

The U.S. expanded the scope of its policy to allow counterstrikes across a wider region Friday. But the Biden administration has not lifted restrictions on Ukraine that prohibit the use of U.S.-provided ATACMS to strike inside Russian territory, according to three U.S. officials familiar with the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to comment publicly. The U.S. began providing Ukraine with long-range ATACMS earlier this year, but with rules, including that they cannot be used to strike inside Russia and must be used within sovereign territory, which includes land seized by the Russians.

That prevents attacks on airfields and military infrastructure in Russia’s deep rear, underscoring a common Ukrainian complaint that Western allies anxious about potentially provoking Russia are undermining Ukraine's ability to fight effectively.

Ukrainian officials are pushing U.S. allies to be able to strike particular high-value targets inside Russia using ATACMS, which can reach over 100 kilometers (62 miles).

“Unfortunately, we still cannot reach, for example, airfields and their aircraft. This is the problem,” Yehor Cherniev, deputy chairman of the parliamentary committee on national security, defense and intelligence, said earlier this month. “That’s why we are asking (allies) to lift the restrictions to use long-range missiles against limited military targets in the territory of Russia.”

Since late May, Ukraine has been able to target Russian troops and air defense systems 20 kilometers (12 miles) from the border in the Kharkiv region. Moscow opened a new front in the region on May 10, capturing village after village in a sweeping advance that caught Ukrainian troops unprepared.

Though not a panacea, the move has greatly slowed Russia’s momentum, even allowing Ukrainian troops to make advances along the northeast border, including recently recapturing areas southwest of Vovchansk, according to local reports. Brigades there said high mobility army rocket systems, or HIMARS, were fired hours after permission was granted, destroying an air defense complex outfitted to launch the deadly missiles.

At the time, the stakes were high as Ukrainian military leaders anticipated another assault designed to divert troops from other intense battlegrounds in the Donetsk region. First Deputy Defense Minister Ivan Havryliuk told The Associated Press that at least 90,000 Russian troops deep in Russian territory were gearing up for a new assault.

“The HIMARS were not silent for the whole day,” Hefastus said, recalling the first hours when permission was granted to use the rocket systems. “From the first days, Ukrainian forces managed to destroy whole columns of troops along the border waiting for the order to enter Ukraine.”

“Before, we couldn’t target them. It was quite complicated. All warehouses with ammunition and other resources were located a 20-kilometer distance beyond what we could hit,” he said.

The dynamics shifted almost immediately, allowing Ukrainian forces to stabilize that part of the front line. Soldiers near a strategic area north of Kharkiv where fighting to push Russian troops back is ongoing said enemy troops had moved positions several kilometers back. Such claims could not be independently verified.

“Tactics have changed" as a result of Ukraine’s improved striking ability, said Kalina, a platoon commander for the Khartia Brigade. Before, they were only able to hit incoming infantry assaults; now, they can employ more artillery against Russian firing points.

The U.S. decision came in the 11th hour, after much lobbying by Ukrainian officials and right as troops were preparing for combat in anticipation of Russia opening a new front in the northeast.

Ukrainian officials are hoping to convince American allies to allow the use of ATACMS against specific targets.

“It seems pretty absurd when the enemy is so actively advancing on our territory and striking with all types of missiles and calibers at Ukrainian territory and we cannot strike back inside the enemy’s territory where they hold logistics and supplies,” said Lys Mykyta, the commander of a drone company in the 103rd Territorial Defense Brigade.

But Ukrainian officials said only desperate battlefield conditions are likely to convince American officials to walk back the restriction.

The renewed invasion of the Kharkiv region, which drew in precious Ukrainian reserves, pushed the U.S. to have a change of heart on allowing self-defense strikes in Russian territory, Cherniev said.

“Probably, the decision about the ATACMS will also be changed based on the situation on the ground,” he said. “I hope the decision will be made as soon as possible.”


Associated Press writers Volodymyr Yurchuk in Kyiv, and Aamer Madhani, Matt Lee and Tara Copp in Washington, D.C., contributed to this report.

Samya Kullab is an Associarted Press reporter covering Ukraine since June 2023. Before that, she covered Iraq and the wider Middle East from her base in Baghdad since joining the AP in 2019.


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扭捏作態?搭個台階?對口相聲?
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我昨天剛說過:「俄、烏戰爭持續下去對中國和習總個人都是大利多。從精打細算的角度看,或許中國坐山觀虎鬥是上上之策(本欄2024/06/17評論)

因此耿爽副代表的宣示(請見上一篇報導)可能在扭捏作態,興許鱷魚眼淚,甚至於消遣參加瑞士和會諸國(本欄2024/06/17報導)

我也曾說過:「我認為普丁不是一位莽夫,擺出這麼大的陣仗自有他的算計和目的。如果圖窮匕見時,他覺得這個bluff的勝算不大,他至少可以找習大大出面替他搭個漂亮的台階下。

前些日子,美國眾院搞么蛾子導致援烏預算中斷,烏軍缺乏武器彈藥;加上兵員不足;俄軍一時轉敗為勝。但最近形勢逆轉一方面歐洲各國驚覺事態嚴重,害怕普丁黑手伸進自己家園。另一方面,美國老百姓雖然懶得管烏國人民死活;但是,烏克蘭一旦失守,拜登勢必輸掉大選。這些是G7抗俄貸款(該欄2024/06/16),美、烏雙邊十年安全協議,以及烏克蘭被容許攻擊俄國本土(本欄2024/06/01);一系列事態的背景。

或許普丁覺得是時候找個台階下了。

當然也有可能是這種請況中、俄兩好哥們暗暗得意,在那兒唱雙簧,說對口相聲

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中國呼籲俄、烏盡速展開和議 -- 《南華早報》
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請見下一篇評論。


China calls for Russia-Ukraine peace talks 'as soon as possible' after skipping Swiss summit that shunned Moscow

, 06/16/24

China has called for direct peace talks between Russia and Ukraine "as soon as possible" as it shunned a weekend gathering in Switzerland that aimed to boost international support for Kyiv's position.

"China calls on the parties to the conflict to demonstrate political will, come together, and start peace talks as soon as possible to achieve a ceasefire and halt military actions,"
Geng Shuang, China's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, told the United Nations Security Council on Friday.

He was speaking on the eve of the Summit for Peace for Ukraine at the Swiss resort of Burgenstock, an event to which Russia was not invited, and which 90 countries attended.

Beijing's absence from the two-day meeting, which was attended by more than 90 countries and focused on rallying support for Ukraine's peace proposals, has raised questions about China's self-proclaimed neutrality in the Ukraine war.

Ukraine invited China to the summit in January, but Beijing, which reaffirmed its commitment to the "no limits" partnership with Moscow last month, insisted any peace process would require Russian participation.

Geng's appeal was largely in line with China's own peace proposal unveiled a year ago, which was praised by Russia as an alternative to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's plan, but largely dismissed by the US and its allies.

During Friday's UN briefing on arms supplies to Ukraine, Geng defended China's "objectivity and impartiality" and accused the US of "spreading the lie that China has supported Russia in its war efforts".

"This is unacceptable ... It is an attempt to divert people's attention from the conflict and create differences," he said.

He said China "urges the US to stop using the Ukraine issue as an excuse to smear China and to impose unilateral sanctions and unreasonable suppression on Chinese companies".

White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said on the sidelines of the summit on Saturday that China's absence was probably a result of Russian pressure and was in line with Beijing's "supply of inputs for Russia's war machine".

"I presume they are not here because [Vladimir] Putin asked them not to come, and they obliged Putin," Sullivan told reporters in the Swiss mountaintop resort. "China has asserted that it stands for peace in Ukraine. A good way to have shown that would be to come here."

According to the Swiss government, more than 90 countries accepted the invitation to the two-day summit, which concludes on Sunday.

Top leaders from 57 countries, ranging from France, Germany and Japan to Argentina, Fiji and Qatar attended the summit, but US President Joe Biden skipped the gathering after the Group of 7 summit on Friday, sending Vice-President Kamala Harris.

India, South Africa, the Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand also sent delegations, while Brazil attended as an observer.

Zelensky, who secured strong support at the G7, hailed the Swiss event's attendance rate and said it would be the start of a process to force Russia to end its aggression and secure peace.

"Even if they are not here today at the first summit, we have succeeded in [showing] the world that joint efforts can stop war and establish peace," he told reporters at the start of the meeting on Saturday.

Earlier this month
Zelensky accused China of "working hard" to help Russia pressure smaller countries to skip the event, accusations Beijing denied.

A final communique, supported by the vast majority of the countries that attended the forum, said: "We believe that reaching peace requires the involvement of and dialogue between all parties." It also called for the "territorial integrity of all states, including Ukraine" to be respected.

Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer cautioned that "without parts of Asia, Africa and South America, we will not be able to get the Russian Federation to change its mind".

Alexander Gabuev, director of the Berlin-based Russia Eurasia Centre of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, posted on X, formerly Twitter, that Beijing did not expect clear results from the event.

"The failure of the Swiss summit that Beijing anticipates may give China a shot to make itself a central player in diplomatic efforts, or at least pretend to be one," he wrote.

Ryan Hass, a China specialist at the Brookings Institution in Washington, tweeted that Beijing's view was that the Ukraine conflict was "far from a mutually hurting stalemate and thus isn't yet ripe for resolution. They don't view the Swiss as neutral. And they won't get drawn into a negotiation that Moscow refuses to join".


Copyright (c) 2024. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.


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「領土完整」必須是烏克蘭和平的基礎 -- JAMEY KEATEN
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我完全了解烏戰爭持續下去對中國和習總個人都是大利多。從精打細算的角度看,或許中國坐山觀虎鬥是上上之策。不過,我不是搞政治的人;所以,「精打細算」也從來不是我的一碟菜。


80 countries at Swiss conference agree territorial integrity of Ukraine must be basis of any peace

, 06/16’24

OBBÜRGEN, Switzerland (AP) — Eighty countries jointly called Sunday for the “territorial integrity” of Ukraine to be the basis for any peace agreement to end Russia’s two-year war, though some key developing nations at a Swiss conference did not join in.

The joint communique capped a
two-day conference at the Bürgenstock resort in Switzerland marked by the absence of Russia, which was not invited, but that many attendees hoped could join in on a roadmap to peace.

About 100 delegations, mostly Western countries but also some key developing nations, were on hand for the conference — and experts were on watch to see how and if at all they might line up behind the outcome document.

Participants India, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and the United Arab Emirates — which were represented by foreign ministers or lower-level envoys — were among those that did not sign onto the final document, which focused on issues of nuclear safety, food security and the exchange of prisoners.

Brazil, an “observer” country, did not sign on but Turkey — which has sought to an intermediary between Russia and Ukraine — did.

The final document said the U.N. Charter and “respect for territorial integrity and sovereigntycan and will serve as a basis for achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in Ukraine.”

Viola Amherd, the Swiss president who hosted the event, told the final news conference that the fact that the “great majority” of participants agreed to the final document “shows what diplomacy can achieve."

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy hailed the “first steps toward peace” at the meeting, and said the joint communique remains “open for accession by everyone who respects the U.N. Charter.”

Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Union’s executive Commission, said the conference was “rightly” entitled “Path to Peace” because peace won’t be achieved in a single step.

“It was not a peace negotiation because Putin is not serious about ending the war. He is insisting on capitulation. He is insisting on ceding Ukrainian territory -- even territory that today is not occupied by him,” she said. “He is insisting on disarming Ukraine, leaving it vulnerable to future aggression. No country would ever accept these outrageous terms.”

Analysts say the
two-day conference will likely have little concrete impact toward ending the war because the country leading and continuing it, Russia, was not invited — for now. Russia's key ally, China, which did not attend, and Brazil have jointly sought to plot alternative routes toward peace.

The meeting also endeavored to return a spotlight to the war at a time when conflict in Gaza, national elections and other concerns have seized global attention.

The three themes of nuclear safety, food security and prisoner exchanges featured in the final statement. Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said they amounted to “minimum conditions” for negotiations with Russia, alluding to how many other areas of disagreement between Kyiv and Moscow will be harder to overcome.

Qatar's prime minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, noted a day earlier how his rich Gulf country hosted talks with both Ukrainian and Russian delegations on the reunification of Ukrainian children with their families that has so far resulted in 34 children being reunited.

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan, speaking to reporters at the resort on Saturday, said it's “going to take work” and countries stepping up to build on efforts by nations like Qatar.

“It’s going to take a spotlight from the international community, not just from only voices from the United States or Europe, but from unusual voices as well to say what Russia has done here is more than reprehensible and must be reversed," he said.

The Ukrainian government believes that 19,546 children have been deported or forcibly displaced, and Russian Children’s Rights Commissioner Maria Lvova-Belova has previously confirmed that at least 2,000 were taken from Ukrainian orphanages.

Montenegro Prime Minister Milojko Spajic told the gathering Sunday: “As a father of three, I'm deeply concerned by thousands of Ukrainian kids forcibly transferred to Russia or Russia-occupied territories of Ukraine.”

“We all at this table need to do more so that children of Ukraine are back in Ukraine,” he added.


Associated Press writer Aamer Madhani contributed to this report.

Follow AP’s coverage of the war in Ukraine at
https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

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俄烏戰爭之關鍵時刻
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亓官先生所說的The beginning of a big Storm in Europe很可能不幸而言中

我想俄烏戰爭的確到了圖窮匕見或見好就收的關鍵時刻。由於俄國「蠶食」戰略被識破,歐洲國家,尤其東歐諸國,已經意識到烏克蘭的勝負就是「自己」的「存亡關頭(1)。這是北大西洋公約會員國在言辭上節節升高(本欄2024/04/2703/1902/29等貼文),以及行動上步步為營的背景。

另一方面,普丁也沒閒著不但陣前換將,更拉高虛聲恫嚇的分貝擺出一副大不了魚死網破的姿態。不過,普丁如果再不找個台階下,一旦戰火大幅度延燒到俄國本土,甚至莫斯科近郊,他絕對沒有好果子吃。

在我看來,雙方都是穿了義大利高級皮鞋的大爺們,這些「小動作」不過是在上談判桌以前,必須玩的「誰先做慫蛋」遊戲。希望這不是我一廂情願否則,一生碰上兩個世界大戰,也真他媽的夠衰了。

附註

1. 
這是我把這個概念用在國際政治脈絡的翻譯。此辭亦為心理學術語可譯為存在感困境」;不宜譯為存在危機」。

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a big storm
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The beginning  of a big  Storm  in Europe !
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烏克蘭可以攻擊俄國本土 – 歐洲新聞/美聯社
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Germany says Ukraine can use its weapons to strike Russian territory

Euronews with AP, 05/31/24

Several NATO countries have relaxed their boundaries on Ukraine's use of their military hardware – but some are still not budging.

Germany has announced it will allow Ukraine to use German weapons to attack targets within Russia's borders, joining several other NATO members in relaxing its limits on what Ukraine can do with donated military hardware.

The news comes as several NATO member states, including the US, are one-by-one easing their restrictions on the extent to which Kyiv can use western-supplied weaponry to combat Russia’s invasion.

However, not all members are on board with the move. Italian foreign minister Antonio Tajani ruled out both sending troops to Ukraine and the use of Italian weapons to hit targets inside Russia. 

"It's impossible for Italy to send soldiers to Ukraine also to use our weapons in Russia," Tajani told reporters in Prague.

Tajani did stress Italy's support of Ukraine, but said that under the country's constitution, it would be impossible to allow the use of its weapons to hit inside Russia and deploy troops to Ukraine.

"We are not fighting against Russia. We are defending Ukraine, (it) is not the same," he added.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg also dismissed renewed Russian threats of escalation.

“There is nothing new," he said. "This is part of President Putin's efforts to prevent NATO allies from supporting Ukraine."

NATO foreign ministers are meeting in the Czech capital on Friday to prepare for this summer’s full leaders' summit as the alliance
boosts support for Ukraine.

A day after US President Joe Biden
gave Ukraine the go-ahead to use American munitions to strike inside Russia for the limited purpose of defending Kharkiv, numerous ministers, including those from the Netherlands, Finland and Poland expressed their approval of the decision, saying that Ukraine has the absolute right to defend itself from attacks originating on Russian soil.

The chorus of allied voices giving greater leeway for Ukraine to use their weapons grew louder in recent weeks after Russia launched artillery strikes on Kharkiv from its territory, prompting appeals for help from Kyiv.

“This is a matter of upholding international law – Ukraine’s right to self-defence,” Stoltenberg said. “Russia has attacked Ukraine, (who have) the right to defend themselves. And that includes also attacking military legitimate targets inside Russia.”

“If you look at the battlefield now, Russia is launching attacks on Ukraine’s soil from Russian soil with artillery, missiles, and massing troops,” he said. “And, of course, it makes it very hard for Ukraine to defend themselves if they are not allowed to use advanced weapons to repel those attacks.”

Ukrainian officials, including President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, have been increasingly vocal in arguing that the restriction was putting Ukrainian forces in an untenable position as
Russia intensified attacks around Kharkiv, which lies just 20 kilometres from the Russian border.

Russia has exploited a lengthy delay in the replenishment of US military aid and Western Europe’s inadequate military production that has slowed crucial deliveries to the battlefield for Ukraine.

NATO is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, and leaders will meet in Washington in July to reaffirm their support for the Ukrainian effort. Stoltenberg said he expects to be able to announce at the summit that at least two-thirds of members are meeting their commitment to spend 2% of their gross domestic product on defence.


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《NATO會員國出兵烏克蘭》小評
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胡卜凱

俄烏戰爭初期和中期,憑藉優勢火力,加上俄軍指揮官無能和士兵缺乏訓練,烏軍得以在戰場上取得贏面。隨著戰事的延續,人力成了決定勝負的關鍵因素。俄、烏兩軍對壘的形勢開始逆轉。

當馬克洪總統提出「兵力支援烏克蘭」的構想時,我相信「歐洲集體安全議題」是他最重要的考量(本欄2024/03/19貼文)。面對俄軍新一波「人海戰術」攻勢,以及烏軍傷亡慘重,人力不足的困境,在軍火之外,對烏克蘭提供「人力支援」,是避免烏軍全面潰敗的唯一方法。

NATO
會員國派出「顧問」和「技術/訓練人員」,只不過是出兵烏克蘭的一個過場或先聲。布萊恩先生這一部分的分析可謂一語中的(請見本欄上一篇貼文)

如果烏軍全面潰敗,其它和俄國接壤的NATO會員國勢必風聲鶴唳,寢食難安;「骨牌效應」將從陰影成為災禍。因此,要避免第三次歐戰或第三次世界大戰,NATO會員國出兵烏克蘭勢在必行。從而,我對布萊恩先生大作中最後的結論甚不以為然

If the Russians are successful, a bigger war in Europe
will be avoided. If not, with the introduction of US forces, Europe will be plunged into World War III.

我認為和平從備戰開始」並非亙古不易的「真理」不過,當面對普丁領導下的俄國,它確確實實是個顛撲不破的硬道理。

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NATO會員國出兵烏克蘭 –---- Stephen Bryen
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請參見本欄下一篇對此文的《小評》。


NATO starts deploying troops as Russia races to win

The plan to try and ward off disaster seems to be to fill in gaps in Ukraine’s forces by importing ‘advisors

STEPHEN BRYEN, 04/26/24

NATO is starting to deploy combat troops to Ukraine. Soldiers from Poland, France, the UK, Finland and other NATO members are arriving in larger numbers.

Although Russia says there are over 3,100 mercenaries in Ukraine, these newly arriving troops are not mercenaries. They are in uniform, home country proclaimed via insignia. They mostly are concentrated in the western part of the country, although in some cases they are close to the actual fighting in the east.

NATO is putting out the word these are not combat soldiers but are in Ukraine to operate sophisticated western hardware. But if they are firing at the Russians the only proper way to interpret their presence is that they are playing an active part in the shooting war.

More or less this is the same pattern that the US used when it sent “advisors” to Vietnam. In fact, they were US Special Forces who engaged in combat.

The Biden administration, at least for public consumption, says it opposes sending NATO soldiers to Ukraine. But Biden in truth may be waiting for his reelection before he gives the order for US soldiers to fight in Ukraine. After Biden is reelected, he will have a free hand. The recent passage of the $60 billion air bill for Ukraine signals that Congress will go along with whatever the Biden administration wants to do “fighting the Russians.”

The national security establishment fears a Russian victory in Ukraine. It would constitute a major setback in America’s security strategy and would be a blow, even a fatal one, to NATO.

Reportedly the Russian army is now 15% bigger than it was before the Ukraine war. It is also far more experienced, and the Russians have found ways to deal with US high tech systems, such as jamming and spoofing.

Meanwhile NATO is far behind Russia in weapons, manpower and industrial might. Furthermore, stockpiles of weapons are very low and equipment supposedly for national defense has been sent to Ukraine, leaving defenses wanting.

The consensus opinion in the US National Security establishment is that Ukraine is losing its war with the Russians and could potentially face the collapse of its army.

There already are reports that some brigades in the Ukrainian armed forces refused orders from their commanders. Those include the 25th Airborne Assault Brigade; the 115th Brigade; the 67th Mechanized Brigade (which abandoned positions in Chasiv Yar) and the 47th Mechanized (which demanded rotation after more than a year on the front lines). These are top Army brigades and not territorial defense units.

The Russians know what is going on and they are targeting foreign forces while also grinding down Ukrainian fighting units, inflicting heavy casualties. The Russians say Ukraine has already lost almost 500,000 troops in the war, and the numbers destroyed in combat grow on a daily basis.

Ukraine is desperate to find new recruits, and it is getting some help from countries where Ukrainian draft-age refugees are hiding out. Lithuania is planning to send Ukrainian draft-age men home. So is Poland.

A report on training of Ukrainian F-16 pilots also is revealing. According to some of the western officers working with the Ukrainians, progress even after a year teaching pilots to operate F-16s has been less than a success. Language barriers and unfamiliarity with western systems and combat tactics, has proven to slow the learning process. Rumors have it that when the F-16s finally begin arriving in Ukraine this summer, the planes are likely to be handled by “retired” pilots from European air forces.

NATO’s plan to try and ward off disaster seems to be to fill in gaps in Ukraine’s forces by importing “advisers,” waiting for the US to commit its army to the battle after the election in November. The Russians know this and are in a race to try and collapse Ukraine’s army before Biden returns to office, if in fact he does. If the Russians are successful, a bigger war in Europe will be avoided. If not, with the introduction of US forces, Europe will be plunged into World War III.


Stephen Bryen served as staff director of the Near East Subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and as a deputy undersecretary of defense for policy.

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馬克洪改變立場的原因:歐洲安全和歷史定位
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0.  前言

英國廣播公司》的評論主要以「國內政情」來解釋:法國總統馬克洪在俄烏戰爭議題上,從鴿派轉變為鷹派的原因(本欄03/18第一篇貼文)。《每日電訊報》則在「國內政情」外,更著重法、德兩國領袖在歐洲政壇「爭戰略一哥」地位(本欄03/18第二篇貼文)。此議題也請參看本欄02/2903/07兩篇貼文。我略表淺見如下。

這些記者們或「據實報導」,或「言不及義」。我不是說:以上兩個「因素」不是馬克洪改變立場的因素;而是說:一個更重要的「因素」沒有被提出來公開和正式討論;它僅僅被暗示或一筆帶過。我指的是:歐洲集體安全議題。

1. 
歐洲安全

因為具有人力優勢以及烏軍後勤難以為繼(人員和軍備),俄軍在戰場上反敗為勝,再度展開攻勢。普丁則在一度灰頭土臉後,又變成活龍一尾開始蹦達。

師老無功,歐、美一般民眾對繼續支持烏克蘭自然興趣缺缺。而政客們一向短視近利,在民情和輿論雙重壓力下,也不得不打退堂鼓。這些都在意料之中。相形之下,俄國周邊小國雖然有唇亡齒寒,刀上魚肉的驚悚,卻難逃愛莫能助,杯水車薪之困窘。

克里米亞被兼併後,普丁開始蠶食烏克蘭,繼之以2022的鯨吞。目前雖然戰況膠著,但烏克蘭在彈盡援絕情況下,終將淪陷。骨牌效應的陰影,已經籠罩歐洲大陸。

2. 
歷史定位

除了知道他的老婆曾經是他老師外,我不甚清楚馬克洪的為人處事;無法對他的人格特質或政策走向做有意義的分析。但我相信他非常了解第二次世界大戰歷史,以及吸取了慕尼黑協定的深刻教訓。從而,他應該思考過普丁據有烏克蘭後的下一步行動。

和其他大多數當下在位的歐洲政治領袖不同,馬克洪沒有連任考量;他也就不必事事或時時以「民意」為依歸。他可以「奢侈」的考慮法國和歐洲前途,以及他自己的「歷史定位

3. 
結論

提出兵力支援烏克蘭的構想後,馬克洪既不必執行這個方案,又可以擺脫「張伯倫們」的標籤;他這個算盤可以說敲到我在台灣都聽見了

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